Whether you’re heading off on a camping trip with friends or family or embarking on a more hardcore trek in the wilds of Snowdonia, no self-respecting outdoors type should be without a few creature comforts, or at the very least some essentials that could keep you from harm. In no particular order here are a few that we think you should be throwing in the back of the car, or the bottom of your rucksack.
Full Charge Ahead
Shine on wherever you're heading with the Black
Diamond Ember Power Light. This whizzkid
widget is a seriously ingenious piece of kit for any
savvy camper this summer, combining essential
hand-held lighting and portable power in a sleek
creation that'll tuck away neatly into your pocket
or the lid of a backpack. Featuring a TriplePower
LED with a dazzlingly powerful 150 lumen beam,
the Ember will illuminate the way whether you're
dodging guy ropes on the midnight mission to the
portaloo or setting up camp under starlight. Easy to
use in all conditions, the Ember is swipe activated,
rechargeable, dimmable and has a lock mode to stop
battery power from draining when not in use. Smarter
still, this stylish gadget is also designed to allow you
to charge hand-held devices on the move via its USB
port, rejuvenating your phone when it has run out
Clear as Mud
Unless you’re going on a serious hike across challenging terrain, then all you really need in the summer months are a rugged, versatile pair of sandals. And these boys from Keen fit the bill and some. Awarded Best in Test in Wanderlust magazine, the Clearwater CNX Leather Sandal can do it all. Lightweight and low profile this sandal looks great without sacrificing fit or performance. Signature KEEN toe protection, contoured arch support and bungee lacing provide a customised fit while the waterproof leather upper, multi-directional flex grooves and razor siping provide advanced traction on slick surfaces making it perfect for walking, watersports or sipping a beer in the evening.
But if you are planning some serious hiking or the occasional scramble then the Q1 Braemar from Anatom is just the ticket, especially if saving weight, having more freedom and mobility around the ankle or keeping your feet cool is important. Whatever your needs the Q1 Braemar with its level 1 calibrated flex and tri.aria waterproof/breathable membrane will help you get there. The Vibram® Tubava sole and cushioned polyurethane midsole provide excellent stability and grip while the finest 2mm Italian full grain waterproof leather gives it a smart look. The mobility of a shoe, combined with the ruggedness of a boot and a lifetime guarantee - make it an excellent choice for keen walkers and hikers.
Sock it to ‘em
A great pair of shoes is nothing without decent socks that reduce blistering and rubbing. To provide even greater comfort and performance out on the hill, TEKO has introduced its innovative Achilles Wrap System™ (AWS) to its best-selling M3RINO. XC HIKING sock range. The AWS is designed to anchor the sock securely around one of the most vulnerable areas; the heel-instep perimeter, thereby preventing slippage or rubbing for a completely secure, blister-free fit. No other sock offers this, apparently. And being made of natural Merino wool they keep your feet cooler and drier and are naturally antimicrobial.
Boom without the bust
FUGOO +Tough speakers are the first completely waterproof, mudproof, dust-proof, snow-proof and drop-proof Bluetooth speakers with an unprecedented 40-hour battery life, interchangeable jackets and a range of accessories, making them suitable for any environment. The FUGOO Tough jacket is built to last – it has been drop tested at 6ft, has a fibre-reinforced resin and solid aluminum casing and can even withstand a truck driving over it, making it the perfect camping accessory. The speakers pack a punch with 360-degree audio thanks to six speakers housed inside a tiny unit and also feature an omni-directional microphone fully compatible with Siri and Google Talk.
Jump to it
Whilst being able to jump-start a car is a neat trick and could be very handy in an emergency, what we really like about the Cobra JumPack is its capacity – 7500mAh is a lot of juice and with its 2.1A USB output the JumPack will
repeatedly recharge your gadgets while you’re off-grid. It can be charged at home or from a 12v supply in your car and also comes with an LED torch and an emergency strobe should the worst happen and you need to call in air/sea rescue. And all from something not much bigger than a pack of fags.
Walk the Talk
If you’re in the wilderness, chances are that you’ll struggle to get a phone signal or run out of battery, or there may be a risk you’ll drop your lovely new iPhone6 in the drink or off a cliff. With a 12km range, long lasting rechargeable batteries, rugged construction and a decent price this pair of Cobra MT975 two way radios solve these problems – you’ll be able to stay in touch with your group relaxed in the knowledge that if you do drop them, it’s not the end of the world.
£69.99 from Maplins
Head of The Pack
Traditional style with completely waterproof construction, The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 Outdry is the only truly
waterproof pack that doesn’t compromise design or function thanks to the use of Outdry, a 3 layer, lightweight, super durable, custom membrane which is laminated to the pack. The pack offers easy access hydration, a wet gear sleeve and a top
zippered pocket for keeping essentials handy.
Your outdoors adventure doesn’t always have to be adrenaline fuelled. Part of the fun can be in finding somewhere new and beautiful to pitch for the night, or with a different kind of fuel – food. Pitch Up, Eat Local by Ali Ray ticks both boxes. From grilling Welsh Black Beef Burgers on the barbecue in the Brecon Beacons to cooking freshly caught mackerel on the beach after a day at the Dorset coast, this is the definitive guide to where to camp in the UK, what local produce to eat, and how to cook it whether on a gas hob, barbecue or fire. Each campsite is reviewed at length alongside over 60 easy-to-cook, inspiring recipes that Ali perfected on her travels.
£16.99, AA Publishing
Tan the man
We’ve all done it. You slap a bit of cheapo sun tan lotion on first thing, spend the rest of the day walking/surfing/cycling (delete as
appropriate) and then wonder why you look like a beetroot down the pub in the evening. You need two things. Firstly, a good quality lotion. Secondly, one that’s designed to last pretty much all day with one application whatever pursuit you’re, err, pursuing. Enter Riemann P20. Designed for active people, extreme waterresistance
and to genuinely last 10 hours, it’s advocated by skin cancer specialists as the best of its kind, and whilst it’s not cheap, what price your health? And it works – we tried it. Suggest you do too.
£13.99 for 100mls